|Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television|
Rather than focus on Will's recovery time, the episode uncharacteristically jumped right back to the action. Certainly half the episode dealt and dwelt with the immediate ramifications of Will's near death experience, but the second half brought Will right back into the heart of things (see what I did there), and within a hair's breadth of Hannibal yet again.
Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that aren't along down here.
It appears we have our recurring motif of the season, with a second character in as many episodes having a vision of being pulled into a liquid depth. Certainly, the theme of submersion is prevalent around Hannibal, with Will having spent last year being pulled deeper into Hannibal's influence, and the same currently happening to Bedeilia. The image, a striking one, of the naked and exposed person sinking or being pulled down by an invisible force. What it important to notice is that they aren't drowning in their visions. They aren't struggling, like prey would. Either, in their visions, they are already dead, in which case they are simply dead weight being dragged into a darkness, or they've given up, and intent not to fight the descent. Last season, Will willingly gave himself over to Hannibal, at least in part, in hopes of catching him. This season, Bedeilia is in much the same predicament, having to decide if surrender ensures survival.
I'm glad Abigail is dead. Not happy glad, but relieved, for two reasons. First, it was unbelievable that everyone survived Hannibal's dinner, and considering that Abigail was the only attendee that isn't currently on the opening credits, she was the most likely to survive. And second, her death does more to define both Will and Hannibal than her survival. For Will, she is the constant reminder of failure, the one he couldn't protect. For Hannibal, she is the reminder of the futility of his quest to remake his sister. Bringing her back for that one scene last year was a shock, and one that be bought because the series had established Hannibal's tendency towards keeping before he killed (as well as the show's predilection for bringing back characters we had previously thought dead). But I've thought it also a slightly hollow reveal. Her continued survival, only to be killed within moments, provided the moment with the mortal weight it needed, and severed the last bonds of Will and Hannibal's relationship. But, it also smacked of being a twist, a moment meant more to shock then to work with logic.
I was surprised when the show didn't linger longer on Will's recovery. The first half hour of this episode did stay with Will in the immediacy of his recovery, and I feel like his and Abigail's discussions concerning fate and quantum physics should have continued a while longer. This show works best when people are having philosophical discussions, and the characters reveal the most about themselves when engaging in these talks. The reveal that she was yet another hallucination of Will's seems like it should have occurred in his hospital, as he was coming to terms with what happened to him. That his mind projected her there as a way for him to cope, and that as his anger and fear receded, he no longer need her. As he accepted his failure to protect her again, and as he came to realize that he didn't recent Hannibal for what he did, he could accept her fiction, and allow her to disappear. Will's recovery seemed like a longer story that we've only seen the start of, and deserves more embellishment.
His forgiveness of Hannibal especially. Will is as much of an obsessive as Hannibal, and especially when it comes to Hannibal. His trip to Italy is yet more proof of that. Hannibal is conclusively gone from his life, and unlikely to return. And yet, Will seeks him out still despite the fact that the last encounter nearly killed him. So, his forgiveness comes unexpectedly. I'm sure that in the eight months we skipped, Will grappled with his feeling towards Hannibal in a grander way, and that this was the outcome. I want to know why he decided to forgive the man who has done nothing but mutilate him, inside and out. How did he get from bleeding on a kitchen floor to standing, contrite, in a tomb? Thematically, I understand the why. Without forgiveness, he continues down the road that we was on last year, one of pure obsession and revenge, the end result leaves him either dead or like his new friend Pazzi, who encountered Hannibal once twenty years ago and has been haunted by him ever since. Pazzi is what Will might become if he cannot forgive.
Even for someone as self assured as Hannibal, he's skating pretty close to the line here. Mangling a corpse into a heart shape, then leaving it in the exact place that he'd previously revealed to Will was the bases of his memory palace, then hanging around inside the palace, and standing within feet of two men who are hunting him. That is... bold. What his reasoning was for essentially summoning Will to Italy is a mystery to me. Se severed his ties with that time and portion of his life pretty definitively, so I doubt that it is unresolved feeling towards Will that caused Hannibal to act out in this way. So why draw such overt attention to himself, when he has so successfully disappeared into an entirely different life?